By JUSTINA MULENGA
TWO Daily Nation drivers yesterday told the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court that they saw two broken glass bottles in the premises of Daily Nation Limited suspected to be petrol bombs.
This was in a matter which came before magistrate Judy Chiyaika yesterday for continued trial of Henry Phiri, who is facing a charge of attempted arson.
When the matter came up for continuation of trial, Francis Malama 46, a driver at Daily Nation told the court that it took 15 minutes for the gate to be opened for him as he was trying to enter the premises.
Mr Malama said the guard on duty only opened the gate after about 15 minutes and when asked, he said he had slept because he was unwell.
“Mr Phiri told me that he took time to open the gate because he had been unwell and was sleeping in the guard room,” he said.
Mr Malama testified that he found two broken bottles, one with fire and another was almost quenched.
“The bottles were broken, and had strings attached to them coming from outside the premises,” he said.
Mr Malama asked Mr Phiri about the fire he found inside the premises, and Mr Phiri said he did not know where it came from because he had been sleeping in the guard room.
“I asked the guard if he had informed anyone from the offices about the fire, and the guard said he had no talk time,” he said.
And the second witness, Joe Bowa 30, another driver said he received a call from Mr Malama who informed him about the fire that was at the entrance of the premises.
Mr Bowa said he went to the scene of the incident and found two broken vodka bottles tied with strings which were coming from outside the premises.
“Mr Malama informed me of what he had found and I went to find out what was happening, and I found two broken bottles of vodka but their content smelled like petrol,” he said.
Mr Bowa further informed the Executive Director, Ms Patricia Chibiliti of the incident.
“I later called my boss Ms Patricia Chibiliti who advised me to call the Transport, Security and Logistics supervisor Mr Brian Lwando and inform him about the incident,” he said.
Magistrate Chayaika has since adjourned the matter to October 19th 2017 for continuation of trial.